Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte

DLEM insigniaDétachement de Légion Étrangère de Mayotte, DLEM. The smallest independent operational unit of the French Foreign Legion. It has been stationed in the Quartier Cabaribère in Dzaoudzi, Mayotte (an archipelago in the Indian Ocean) since 1976.

Initially activated as the Foreign Legion Detachment in Comoros (DLEC) in August 1973, with the 2nd Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (3e REI). When the Comoro Islands gained independence in 1975, the DLEC moved from Grande Comore to Mayotte (another part of the Comoros) in 1976, because Mayotte had voted to remain part of France. Thereafter, the DLEC became the DLEM.

Since 1984, the DLEM has been a custodian of the standard of the disbanded 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment (2e REC).

Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte promotion


History of the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte

Discover the history of the DLEM, from 1967 to 2014, in our older article:
Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte’s History

Détachement de Légion Étrangère de Mayotte - DLEM - Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte - History


Current structure of the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte

The DLEM detachment (in 2023) is divided into two companies. That means a permanent company and a rotational company. The unit consists of almost 300 men, including 110+ permanent elements of the Legion and about 155-180 rotational elements (provided by the Legion or by French Army regular units), usually rotating every four months.

The Foreign Legion Mayotte Detachment is a fully operational unit in order to be ready to deploy in 48 hours. The unit’s main mission is to maintain France’s presence in the region and support French forces operating in the southern zone of the Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa. The DLEM runs the Aquatic Familiarization & Training Center (Centre d’Instruction et d’Aguerrissement du Nautique, CIAN) and provides military training to the armed forces of the adjoining regions, by forming an Operational Training Detachment (DIO) or a Technical Training Detachment (DIT). The unit’s another mission is to intervene in response to humanitarian crisis and to secure the region from illegal immigration. The DLEM’s commanding officer serves also as the military commander of Mayotte.

Twice a year, the DLEM units go to the Réunion island or Madagascar to a firing range to train shooting with machine guns, sniper rifles and using grenades and explosives.

The DLEM also regularly deploys (since 1997) a fully autonomous rotational detachment to a military outpost on outlying Glorioso Islands (or The Glorieuses), for a mission lasting usually between 20 and 70 days.

The Foreign Legion Mayotte Detachment is part of the Southern Indian Ocean Armed Forces (FAZSOI). It is also subordinated to the Overseas & Foreign Countries Specialized HQ (EMSOME), together with the 3e REI.

In 2023, the DLEM is composed of:

  • HQ & Logistics Company (Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique, CCL)
  • Infantry Combat Company – a rotational unit of DLEM


MOTTO: “Pericula Ludus” (Danger is my pleasure)
REGIM. MARCH: Soldats de la Légion étrangère
OFFIC. FB PAGE: Détachement de Légion Étrangère de Mayotte


Location of the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte



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